Derby City Sailing Club


Derby City Sailing Club
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Sailing Instructions

(Updated May 10, 2017)

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Racing Rules
DCSC Series Events | Wednesday Night Series | Sail Louisville Saturday Series
Race Dues
Race Committee
Start Line
Start of Race
One-minute Rule
Scoring System


These sailing instructions shall govern all races in the DCSC racing season.  Separate instructions are set forth in Section 3 where applicable for the individual series.  Where a discrepancy appears the rules for that particular series govern.

These instructions may be modified or amended in writing or verbally changed by the Race Committee Chairman at a skipper’s meeting.  Any verbal revision to these instructions shall be reduced to a written form as soon as practical, provided the revision is general in nature and not directed to a specific event.


Except as otherwise modified by these sailing instructions, all races shall be governed by the 2017-2020 International Sailing Federation rules.




The Wednesday Night Series shall consist of two 11 week Series, Series I and Series II.


Each Series shall be scored individually.  Each race shall be scored according to the scoring system set forth in section 12 of these instructions.  Each boat may count its best races towards the series as follows; best 8 of 11, 7 of 10, 6 of 9, 6 of 8, 5 of 7, 5 of 6, 4 of 5, 3 of 4, 3 of 3, 2 of 2, 1 of 1.


The race committee prior to the start of each series shall determine classes for each series.  If a boat enters the series after the classes are announced, the race committee shall assign that boat to a class at its discretion.


The Committee Boat, Mark Boats and Race Committee should plan in advance to have the marks and the starting line set in order for the race to start on time.

No later than the first Class Flag, the Committee Boat shall signal or otherwise designate the course to be sailed. The Yellow, JAM C class flag shall be raised at 5:55pm sharp.  In the event conditions warrant a postponement of the starting time, the postponement flag (red and white vertical stripes) shall be raised at 5:55pm in place of the yellow class flag.

Radio communication to the fleet estimating length of postponement should be made.

The first Class Flag (warning) should be raised one minute after the postponement flag is lowered.


The start sequence for the Wednesday Night Series shall be as follows:

Jam C
Jam B
Jam A
Spinnaker Level fleet

Fleets may be added or eliminated but slower fleets will start before faster fleets.  Fleets may be combined in a single start.

3.1.6 COURSE

The course shall consist of two upriver marks, a short and a long approximately 220 yards apart, located around the Captain's Quarters restaurant and two downriver marks, a short and a long, approximately 220 yards apart located around the Lancaster house. The start/finish line is located half way between the upriver and downriver marks. The distance from the start to the short marks is approximately 0.5 miles and the distance from the start to the long marks is approximately 0.625 miles. The Start/Finish line should be about 400 feet long.

Depending on the wind direction the course will either go upriver or downriver first to attempt to have an upwind start. If the wind is across the river the first leg should be upriver.  The committee boat will be positioned on the starboard end of the starting line to indicate the direction of the first leg of the race.

The start/finish line is closed and for safety reasons is an Obstruction.  After finishing the first leg of the course a boat may not cross the starting line and a boat shall not cross the finish line until completing  the last leg of the course.  Doing so results in a DSQ.  No exoneration moves can be made.

Depending on the wind strength, predicted wind- sustainability and the amount of daylight, one of four possible courses will be chosen by the race committee and signaled with a course flag.  In addition the course will be announced by the race committee on VHF 68.

The course can be changed after the races have started by flying the C flag with repeated 5 short horn blasts and the new race course number displayed.

All marks shall be rounded to PORT.


A race for a class will be abandoned if the first boat in that class does not reach the first mark within one hour after her start, or does not finish within 2.5 hours after her start.

The committee will attempt to notify boats in the abandoned class or classes.  The burden is on the boats in the individual classes to determine if a boat in that class has rounded the first mark in the prescribed time.  The fact that the committee boat may be displaying the abandonment flag means only that a race for a class has been abandoned.  It does not necessarily mean the race for all classes has been abandoned.

Boats not finishing 1 hour after the lead boat has finished will be scored a DNF, provided the first boat has finished within the prescribed time limit.


If the Committee Boat postpones a race due to lack of wind, she shall wait at least 30 minutes before abandoning.

The latest time of day the starting sequence shall begin is 90 minutes before sunset or 6:10pm, whichever is later.

Notwithstanding any other time limitations, the committee boat shall have the right in its sole discretion, to terminate a race after 8:30pm for any class, which has not finished.  In such event, any boats that have not finished will be scored a DNF.  In exercising this discretionary action, the committee boat should consider wind, weather, darkness and proximity of boats to the finish line.  ANY decision by the committee boat under this rule shall not be grounds for protest.  The committee boat is advised not to allow any race to continue after dark.


If any member who is scheduled to serve as committee for a Wednesday night series is UNABLE to be present for that race, it shall be his responsibility to secure a replacement.  Upon 2 weeks advance request, the Race Committee will appoint another member to serve as committee for that race but the person requesting a replacement may not sail in that race. 

Final committee assignments will be available on our website.



The Sail Louisville Saturday Series races shall be held as published in the Club Directory.


For each race, scoring shall be as set forth in section 12 of these instructions.  A participant may count his best races towards the series as follows; 4 of 5, 3 of 4, 3 of 3, 2 of 2, 1 of 1.

The GREAT YACHT RACE and the WOMAN AT THE HELM RACE shall be scored separately and trophies awarded for both races.  They shall also count as a race toward the Saturday Series scoring.


There shall be two classes, SPINNAKER and JAM.  Once a boat has entered into and sailed the first race in a class, it may change classes by accepting a DNS for races not sailed in the new and old class.


A skipper’s meeting will be held prior to each race at the Limestone Bay Yacht Club at 11:30 a.m.  At that time any amendments to the Sailing Instructions and course to be sailed shall be announced.


The Starting Line will be at the Limestone Bay Yacht Club.   The course will be determined at the skipper’s meeting.

The actual start time will be announced at the skipper’s meeting.  A 12:25 preparatory  flag with a 12:30 start is the target.

3.2.6 STARTS

The start sequence will be a 5-minute sequence.  To start the countdown, a blue (preparatory) flag will go up at 12:25, down at 12:29, and a red start flag up at 12:30.  All boats are required to start at their assigned time after the red flag.  The start is based on REVERSE PHRF.  The highest handicaps start first.  


The first boat to finish wins the race.  The first boat to finish shall note his elapsed time and the name of the boat immediately behind.  Subsequent finishers shall note the time of day as well as the boat ahead and the boat behind.  The results of your finish shall be emailed to the race committee chairman.


There shall be a 2.5-hour time limit to the first mark for the first boat in each fleet.  There shall be a 4-hour time limit for the first boat in each fleet to finish.  Any boat not finishing within 6 hours shall receive a DNF provided at least one boat in the fleet finished in the prescribed time limit.


All members of the DCSC are eligible to participate in each DCSC race series provided the current year’s dues and racing fees are paid , have signed the Liability Waiver form and given to the race committee chairman proof of boat insurance with at least $100,000 liability.  Members must register the boat they will race in each respective series.  No boat or member shall be considered as participating in any DCSC race unless having registered and fulfilled the requirements listed above.  A member may register a different boat for different series. 

US Sailing rule 24.1 states boats not racing should keep clear of boats racing so boats not fulfilling the eligibility requirements should try to stay clear of the DCSC race course.

If a member desires to participate in a series after that series has commenced, he may do so provided fees are paid and the above requirements fulfilled.  The member will receive a DNS for races not sailed.


Racing fees are established by the Derby City Sailing Club and are $50 for participation in any or all Wednesday Night Series and Saturday Series.

To be eligible to race, fees must be paid prior to participation in the series or regatta.


The DCSC Race Committee shall be responsible for the preparation, conduct and completion of each race in the series.  The Race Committee may delegate committee assignments for the respective races.  The marks can and should be set by designated members of DCSC for each race thus leaving the Committee Boat the responsibility of running the race as prescribed and reporting the racing times to the race committee chairman in a punctual manner( preferably that night).

All decisions made by the Race Committee shall be final.  No decision of the Race Committee in setting a course, postponing a race, abandoning a race or shortening  or lengthening a race may be protested.

The Committee Boat shall receive his series average for that race.


The start line for the Saturday Bridge Series will be set at the Limestone Bay Yacht Club  It shall consist of a buoy at one end and the flag pole on the point at Limestone Bay Yacht Club.

The start line for the Wednesday Night Series will be midway between the upriver marks near the Captains Quarters and the downriver marks near the Lancaster house.  The committee at its discretion may place a buoy on the leeward side of the committee boat (barging buoy), which shall be considered an extension of the committee boat.  In the event a barging buoy is utilized, all boats shall start between the buoys.  The starting line shall be defined as an imaginary line drawn between the main mast of the committee boat or the orange flag on a power boat which is at the starboard end of the starting line and the furthest buoy, which is at the port end of the starting line.

The starting line will be about 400 feet in length.

When fleets are awaiting separate starts, boats in the fleets with a later start must keep clear of the starting box up to the five minutes prior to their start.  This starting box is approximately the area with a width of twice the starting line length and a depth that extends back from the starting line by one-half the starting line’s length.


The starting sequence as spelled out in the 2016-2020 ISAF rules, part 3 will be used.

- 1 minute Series of short horn blasts to warn of STARTING SEQUENCE
Time zero JAM C Flag Up ( Yellow)  Stopwatch Started on Committee Boat
+1 minute Prep Flag up
+4 minutes Prep Flag down
+5 minutes START: JAM C Flag down,  JAM B Flag up (Green) 
+6 minutes Prep flag up
+9 minutes Prep flag down
+10 minutes START: JAM B Flag down,  JAM A Flag up (White)
+11 minutes Prep flag up
+14 minutes Prep flag down
+15 minutes START: JAM A Flag down,  SPIN LEVEL Flag up (Blue)
+16 minutes Prep flag up
+19 minutes Prep flag down
+20 minutes START: SPIN LEVEL Flag down,  SPIN Flag Up (Grey) 
+21 minutes Prep flag up
+24 minutes Prep flag down
+25 minutes START: SPIN Flag down

The committee will attempt to sound a horn at the all the required flag signals.  However, the FLAGS and not the sound shall control.



10.0 FLAGS

US Sailing flags will be utilized. More than those listed may be used.  See US sailing.

Class flags will indicate which fleet is in their 5 minute starting sequence. Course flags, 1 thru 4, will indicate which Wednesday Night Race course will be sailed.

10.1 PREPATORY: White square on dark Blue background.  Used in starting sequence to designate start of race for each fleet.

10.2 POSTPONEMENT: Red and White vertical strips in a pennant formation.  Wait for additional flags.

10.3 INDIVIDUAL RECALL: Blue cross on white background.  The committee will attempt to hail an early starter; however, the burden to restart is on the offending boat.

10.4 GENERAL RECALL: Yellow triangle on blue background accompanied by several horn blasts.

10.5 ABANDON RACE: Blue and white checkered flag.  Note section 3 for time limits.

10.6 LIFE JACKETS REQUIRED: Red and yellow diagonal bars.  If this flag is shown, all skippers and crew must wear life jackets.


If a boat violates any rule or instruction during a race, it should retire immediately or exonerate themselves by doing a 360 if fouling the course or doing a 720 if fouling another boat.  If it fails to do either of these, it shall be protested in the following manner by the protesting boat:

  • Verbally notify the offender of the protest at the earliest opportunity after the foul by using the word "protest".
  • Display a red flag.
  • Notify the committee boat after finishing the race.
  • File a written protest to the Race Committee Chairman by noon of the following day by email or hand delivered.

A Protest Committee will be appointed and will convene as soon as possible after the racing event.  All parties involved must be available upon call by the Protest Committee.  Protest will be heard by a Protest Committee chosen from members of fleets not affected by the outcome of the protest.  



The score for each race will be calculated as follows, using the low point system; first place- 1point; second place – 2 points; third place – 3 points; and so on.


The low point scoring system for a club series shall be used.  See section 3.1.2 and 3.2.2 for minimum required races scored.  Each boat finishing in a race and not retiring thereafter or being disqualified will be scored points as follows: first place –1 point; second place – 2 points; third place – 3 points; and so on.

The series score for each boat will be the sum of her races scored.  


DNS – Did not start – ranked as a starter but failed to start; score = number in fleet + 1

DNF – Did not finish; score = number of starters +1

DSQ- Disqualified; score = number of starters + 2

12.4 TIES

In the event of a tie at the end of a series, or regatta, the tie will be broken by elevating the boat, which has the most first place finishes for the series.  If the tie still exists, the most second place finishes, and so on.


13.1 BARGES 

BARGES are a continuing hazard on the Ohio River and must be respected.  Boats who are repeatedly horned ( 5 blasts) from tugs may not be allowed to continue racing.

13.2 LIGHTNING in the area

If lightning is in the area 29 minutes or less prior to the scheduled race time, 5:55PM, races will be POSTPONED. Race Committee will attempt to keep fleets informed via VHF68 for a potential start time or abandonment.

If lightning is during a race, ALL CURRENT races are abandoned.  Committee Boat will attempt to notify all racers, VHF 68, that racing is abandoned.  All racers and Committee Boat should leave the racing area.  All races, started or not started, will not be scored.

Racing may be started 30 minutes after last thunder/lightening, time permitting. (see 3.1.8)



All boats will be rated according to their respective PHRF number as determined by the Race Committee.  A boat may request modification of its rating at any time.   The request must be in writing setting forth the reasons requested.  The committee shall maintain the existing rating or amend the rating to the requested number.  Any modification shall be in effect after approval.  No boat may protest another boat’s assigned rating.  The Race Committee at its discretion may delegate the assignment of handicaps but the final determination shall be the responsibility of the committee.


A time on time handicap system shall be used for scoring the Wednesday Night Series.  Each boat will receive a time correction factor (TCF) based on its PHRF rating.  The actual elapsed time is multiplied by the TCF.  The TCF is calculated as follows; TCF= 650/(550 + PHRF).

Click here to download these instructions.